Walking by Faith in Our Daily Lives
How easy it is to lose faith in the glories unseen when faced with challenges that are seen, such as family dysfunction, personality weaknesses, health problems, economic disparity, social injustice, racial prejudices, political upheavals, religious persecution, and things like these. But these are the very circumstances that faith is designed for.
When we are faced with such circumstances, the natural, physical response is to fall victim to them – to accept them as the reality of your life – and to respond in a physical way, with anger, tears, cursing, yelling, abusive behavior, and sometimes violence. But these reactions only feed into the situation and lead one into a cycle of depression and frustration. On the other hand, walking by faith in our Father’s promise to care for us – the spiritual response – is the only response that transcends the cycle and leads one out of it.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
– 1 Corinthians 10:13
Walking by faith enables us to see the bigger picture – that we are citizens of the universe (Philippians 3:20), and only temporary residents of the mortal life. (1 Peter 2:11-12) The limited years we are privileged to traverse this planet are but a drop in the bucket of time and eternity that is already given to those exercising faith in Jesus. (See Everlasting Life Now!)
Walking by faith in the promises of God and unseen glories that await us helps us understand that our circumstances, whatever they are, are temporary and transitory, and serve to refine us. Tribulations courageously confronted, strengthen and renew us and always works out for our greater good, if we do not give in or give up.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
– 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Walking by faith allows us to transcend our personal problems and reach out in service of our brothers and sisters. It is impossible to wallow in self pity when serving others who are less fortunate than ourselves. We are speaking from personal experience. When we can see no way out of the challenges that we face, and have done all we can to resolve the problem, we turn to serving others – by way of this ministry or just going for a walk and smiling and speaking with strangers. Pursuing the ministry of the plain and open teachings of Jesus is a treasure:
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
– 2 Corinthians 4:7-9
We have learned that it serves no good purpose to sit and meditate on how bad things are. That will never lead to a solution. But little things like an encouraging conversation, giving a bottle of water, a canned meal, or an item of used clothing to a person in need can do wonders for one’s mental disposition. It is the essence of Jesus’ counsel:
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
– Acts 20:35
And Paul’s words:
“No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”
– 1 Corinthians 10:24
Without exception, these excursions in service clear our minds of negative thinking and leads us to a solution we could not previous see in a depressed state. Rising above our circumstances in faith and service is the message Jesus was teaching with this illustration:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”
– Matthew 5:38-42
Jesus is not promoting defeatism or passivism. He is promoting courage and conviction. He was telling them that when they are confronted with a situation that appears to be a ‘no-win,’ take control of the situation. Jesus was in essence saying ‘a slap to the cheek cannot defeat me, neither can a slap to both cheeks.’ ‘Taking my inner garment cannot defeat me, neither can taking my outer garment.’ ‘Pressing me to walk for a mile in your service cannot defeat me, neither can walking two.’ The point was that when there is nothing we can do to extricate ourselves from an unfavorable situation, we do not let those situations defeat us. This mind-set is the mind of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:16) and adorning ourselves with this mind-set is walking by faith.
The bigger picture teaches us that while we are here on this planet, we must do something to advance our world so that future generations can experience less and less of the tribulations we face, all leading to an enlightened and spiritualized world as prophesied by the Hebrew prophets and seers (Isaiah 2:4; Isaiah 35:1-2; Isaiah 35:3-7; Isaiah 33:24; Psalms 67:6; Psalm 72:16; Isaiah 65:21-23), and reiterated by Jesus who said that one day, our planet will be dominated by ‘the meek.’ (Matthew 5:5)
Walking by faith is the solution for ourselves and our world at large. We learn to get out of our own way and begin to think of our lives as a segment of time in the long journey of the human race toward perfection. (Matthew 5:48) We will be doing our part to fulfill the edict to ‘fill the earth and subdue it’ for our children and future generations. (Genesis 1:28)
Think of this life as ‘boot camp’ where we will be faced with extremely stressful situations. But like boot camp, know that the trials are temporary and all in preparation for greater future responsibilities. This life is only the ‘preliminary heat’ in the eternal race for the real life. (1 Timothy 6:19) We will fall many times as we gain our strength. We will pull muscles, maybe sprain an ankle. People will get in our lane, and trip us. Others will fall around us. We may even break a leg. But we continue on in faithful expectation of the prize. This is the way Paul looked at life.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
– 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Unlike a literal race where there is only one winner, in the race for life, we can all be winners, but we must ‘run in such a way that we may win it.’ That means we must look beyond the temporal problems and not let them overtake us. Discipline ourselves to walk by faith in full expectation of divine assistance and eternal glory.
Everything we need has been provided. (Matthew 6:25-34) Our Father is well aware of our circumstances and our training regimen, and He has total confidence in our ability to endure and find our way to Him in paradise. (Revelation 2:7) We must develop a similar faith in our own endurance.
If we walk in faith in all of the ways mentioned above, we will have excelling peace now, and we will be assured of our survival of this life and our continued existence in the Kingdom of the Heavens for an eternity. Never forget Jesus words of comfort.
“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me. “Come now; let us leave.”
– John 14:25-31
Like our Master, let us not be overly troubled, nor shrink in fear, no matter what situations befall us. And let us ‘get up and go,’ walking in faith, not by sight, demonstrating our love for the Father and His Son.